Isaac Vallentin / Her Harbour 3 Rue Eddy, Ottawa ON, February 5

Isaac Vallentin / Her Harbour 3 Rue Eddy, Ottawa ON, February 5
Photo: Ming Wu
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Even before the Megaphono festival had gotten underway, Friday's (February 5) "Secret Mill Tour Sound Experience" proved to be one of the most interesting ideas on the bill, offering groups of 20ish a chance to walk through and hear performances throughout the old Domtar Mill that sits on the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River.
 
Megaphono's Director, Jon Bartlett, personally walked each group through the building, guiding them to the two musical performance spaces and giving a little history along the way.
 
The tour's first stop was a side passage off of one of the main rooms. Waiting for the group was Isaac Vallentin, guitar in hand. After a few jokes about how long he'd been waiting there, Vallentin performed a new song called "Bicycle." Vallentin's folk songs are rather delicate things, but they held up incredibly well in the post-industrial expanses of the decommissioned mill. Vallentin even took advantage of the space's acoustics and got some crowd participation going, asking people to snap along to the beat of his second and final song.
 
Then, a suspect flight of metal stairs led to a great room where Her Harbour (Gabrielle Giguere) was waiting. There were two rather large, circular, concrete platforms that rose out half a foot off the ground, one of which made an excellent stage for Giguere. She has a wonderfully pleasant singing voice that, when coupled with the tones of her autoharp, made for a truly memorable performance.